In 2 Timothy 2:4, Paul tells us that “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the recruiter.” We somehow have forgotten about this part of scripture. It’s always far more convenient to only talk about those areas that are comfortable for us, or the commands with which we don’t struggle. In the passage above, the recruiter is obviously Jesus. He loves you and has been drawing you towards Him your entire life. Getting “entangled in the concerns of civilian life” means becoming obsessed with achieving success outside of His kingdom or constantly striving to acquire all the stuff that your neighbors and society at large have convinced you that you need.
We were called to be different (John 17:14; 1 Peter 2:9). Our lives should not look like that of our neighbors. Our lives should look like Jesus. The things we live for make no sense to the world at large. Nor should what they live for make any sense to us. What difference does the size of your television make in the grand scheme of eternity? Whose life will be changed by the type of car you drive? Will anyone’s eternal destiny be secured based on what brand of purse you carry?
Nothing we achieve or acquire in this life counts for anything in the Kingdom of God. All that matters is what we do for Jesus. Instead of buying that new television, what if you made it possible for someone without food to have a warm and nutritious meal? In lieu of purchasing the new BMW, how about putting a roof over the head of a homeless person? And before dropping several hundred dollars down on that new Louis Viton bag, perhaps instead consider providing clothing for the poor family down the street.
Our lives must look different. Our motives must always be to serve and to love. We have one goal in life: to further the mission of Jesus and bring glory to God. Few would think joining the military was just an easy paycheck and they could do whatever they wanted. No, signing up for service necessitates a great responsibility and commitment. If you get recruited into the army and decide to live your life in direct opposition to what you are told to do, you will find yourself court martialed, disgraced, and eventually kicked out.
If we would serve God, we bear the responsibility and commitment to do the things He commands us to do. Our lives are no longer ours. Everything we do is for His glory and His purposes. We can’t be dedicated to Christ and remain loyal to this world. Don’t worry about what the neighbors will say. You’re not here to please the neighbors. We’re either on mission for Christ or living in direct opposition to Him. Don’t be foolish. Be devoted to the One who has called you to serve Him. Do it well, and do it with all your heart.